Local Plan Review Issues and Options Regulation 18

5 Settlement Strategy

Current Approach

5.1 The Settlement Strategy in the Local Plan consists of two elements:

  • A hierarchy of settlements based upon their current and potential role and function; and
  • A scale of growth for employment and housing.

5.2 Figure 5.1 summarises the current Local Plan requirements for housing, employment land and jobs.

Figure 5.1: Housing and Employment Requirements by Settlement

Settlement

Total Housing Requirement 2006-2028

(Policy SS5)

Total Employment Requirement 2006-2028

Land (ha)

(Policy SS3)

Total Jobs to be encouraged 2006-2028

Jobs

(Policy SS3)

Strategically Significant Town

Yeovil

7,441

1,565 of which to be delivered in the two Sustainable Urban Extensions

44.84 plus 5.16 in the two Sustainable Urban Extensions

3,948 plus 1,565 in the two Sustainable Urban Extensions

Primary Market Towns

Chard

1,852

17.14

1,083

Crewkerne

961

10.10

577

Ilminster

496

23.05

419

Wincanton

703

7.94

599

Local Market Towns

Ansford & Castle Cary

374

18.97

273

Langport & Huish Episcopi

374

4.01

284

Somerton

374

6.63

307

Rural Centres

Bruton

203

3.06

156

Ilchester

141

1.02

433

Martock and Bower Hinton

230

3.19

163

Milborne Port

279

0.84

77

South Petherton

229

2.47

141

Stoke sub Hamdon

51

1.09

43

Rural Settlements

Settlements that offer two or more of the services listed in paragraph 5.41 of the Local Plan [1]

2,242

No figure given

1,181

TOTAL

15,950

149.51

11,249

Source: South Somerset Local Plan 2006-2028

5.3 The housing growth has been distributed in the following proportions:

  • Yeovil: 47% of growth;
  • Market Towns: 32% of growth (25% in Primary Market Towns and 7% in Local Market Towns);
  • Rural Centres: 7% of growth; and
  • Rural Settlements: 14% of growth.

5.4 The employment land has been distributed in the following proportions:

  • Yeovil : 33.5% of growth;
  • Market Towns: 59% of growth (39% in Primary Market Towns and 20% in Local Market Towns);
  • Rural Centres: 7.5% of growth; and
  • Rural Settlements: no employment land figure has been identified.

5.5 In order to provide more certainty for the development industry and local people, the LPR will move away from Directions of Growth and allocate land for housing and economic development purposes. This document identifies site options for growth. The Council’s preferred options for allocations and the overall distribution of growth will be identified at the next stage of the process.

 

1. Paragraph 5.41 lists: local convenience shop; post office; pub; children’s play area/sports pitch; village hall/community centre; health centre; faith facility; and primary school. [back]

Housing Issues

5.6 Councils are expected to have a five-year housing land supply. As of September 2017, South Somerset does not have a five-year housing land supply, having a supply equating to 4.2 years[2] . In light of paragraph 47 of the NPPF and only having delivered the annualised housing requirement twice in the last ten years, the Council is considered to have a record of ‘persistent under delivery’ and has therefore applied a 20% increase to its overall housing target.

5.7 The Authority Monitoring Report, 2017 (AMR) [3] confirms that the Council is behind target on the delivery of homes District-wide. The reality, in terms of when developments come forward and are built out, is linked to a whole range of issues outside of the Council’s direct control, including access to finance, market capacity, sales rates, landownership agreements, infrastructure investment and delivery. Housing delivery in specific settlements is considered in the relevant sections of this document.

5.8 Figure 5.2 shows that over the Plan period so far, housing delivery in the Rural Settlements has been greater than expected. This is also true of delivery in Wincanton, Langport, South Petherton, Milborne Port, Ilminster and Bruton. Delivery in Yeovil and Chard however, is considerably less than the annualised average through to 2017.

Table 5.2: Residential completions and commitments against Local Plan requirements

Settlement

Local Plan 2006-2028 Total Housing Requirement

Annualised Target for 2017

(11/22 Years)

Total Completions 2006 - 2017 (net)

Difference Against Annualised Target for 2017

Existing housing commitments as at 31st March 2017 (net)

Total Completions and Commitments as at 31st March 2017 (net)

Performance against Local Plan Target (F-C)

(+ or -)

Strategically Significant Town

Yeovil

7441

3720

2385

-1335

1361

3746

-3695

Primary Market Towns

Chard

1852

926

655

-271

201

856

-996

Crewkerne

961

481

355

-126

610

965

4

Ilminster

496

248

264

16

120

384

-112

Wincanton

703

352

638

286

306

944

241

Local Market Towns

Ansford/Castle Cary

374

187

68

-119

523

591

217

Langport /Huish Episcopi

374

187

297

110

152

449

75

Somerton

374

187

108

-79

366

474

100

Rural Centres

Bruton

203

102

108

6

76

184

-19

Ilchester

141

71

0

-71

161

161

20

Martock

230

115

93

-22

127

220

-10

Milborne Port

279

140

227

87

29

256

-23

South Petherton

229

114

232

118

28

260

31

Stoke Sub Hamdon

51

25

7

-18

48

55

4

Rural Settlements

2242

1121

1431

310

1100

2531

289

Total

15950

7975

6868

-1107

5208

12076

-3874

Source: SSDC Authority Monitoring Report (September 2017)

2. South Somerset District Council Five-Year Housing Land Supply Paper (September 2017) [back]
3. South Somerset Authority Monitoring Report, September 2017 [back]

Future Housing Growth

5.9 The current Local Plan has an annual housing target of 725 dwellings per year. Additional evidence based work has been undertaken since this target was adopted; a joint Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) has been prepared by JG Consulting on behalf of the Somerset Authorities (excluding West Somerset) [4].  National planning policies require the SHMA to define the “full objectively assessed need for market and affordable housing” (OAN)[5].

5.10 A number of scenarios were tested to derive the OAN for South Somerset. These are set out below:

Figure 5.3: Scenarios Tested to Consider Objectively Assessed Housing Need 2014-2039

Projection scenario

Dwellings per annum

2014-based Sub National Household Projections

547

2014-based Sub National Household Projections + adjustment for mid-year population estimates

540

Oxford Economics jobs–led projection + 2014-based Sub National Household Projections headship rates

589

10-year based migration trend projection + adjustment for un-attributable population change + 2014-based Sub National Household Projections headship rates

597

10-year based migration trend projection + 2014-based Sub National Household Projections headship rates

597[6]

Past trend jobs-led projection, 2014 – based Sub National Household

Projections headship rates

720

Source: SHMA, October 2016

5.11 The analysis identified an increase in the number of concealed households [7] across the County and an adjustment to the need figures is suggested to make an allowance for this.

5.12 Additionally, the study highlights a need for ‘older person’ accommodation (e.g. care home bedspaces). For South Somerset, this equates to 51 bedspaces per annum. If these are added to the OAN and consequently included in the five-year housing land supply the OAN would be as follows:

Figure 5.4: Upper end of the range for Objectively Assessed Need – Including Allowance for Concealed Households 2014-2039

Projection Scenario

Dwellings per annum

10-year based migration trend projection + 2014-based Sub National Household Projections headship rates

597

Annual allowance for concealed households

10

Annual allowance for older person bedspaces

51 bedspaces

Total

658 (suggested that this would be rounded to 660)

Source: SHMA, October 2016

5.13 If an OAN of 660 dwellings per annum (including bedspaces for older people) were taken forward it would result in a housing requirement of 13,200 over the period 2014-2034[8]

5.14 Once housing completions and commitments (dwellings under construction and not started) are taken into account the residual housing requirement for the District would be around 6,000 dwellings.

5.15 If older person bedspaces are not included in the OAN then they cannot be counted towards the Council’s five-year supply of housing land. Given the identified need, the requirement would have to be met through its inclusion in a policy elsewhere in the Plan.

5.16 The SHMA has been produced in accordance with the methodology currently set out in the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG). However, the Housing White Paper states the Government’s intention to introduce a more standardised methodology for calculating the OAN. This methodology is currently being consulted on and if taken forward would result in a slightly different annual requirement [9].

Question 5.1

Which of the following options should be taken forward through the LPR?

Option 5.1

5.1(a)  Progress on the basis of an OAN of 13,200 dwellings (includes bedspaces for older people)

5.1(b)  Progress on the basis of another OAN. Please provide a detailed justification for any alternative suggestion

 

4. Mendip, Sedgemoor, South Somerset and Taunton Deane Strategic Housing Market Assessment, J G Consulting, October 2016 https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/media/862544/somerset_final_shma_oct2016_revised.pdf [back]
5. Paragraph 47 NPPF, 2012 [back]
6. This number is the same as the figure above because of the effect of Unattributable Population Change (UPC). Between the Census in 2001 and Census in 2011 there was some poor accounting of both internal and international migration, and this affected certain local areas more than others. In South Somerset, the UPC ends up only being “+8” and therefore has a negligible effect, meaning that South Somerset’s figure for per annum housing stays the same at 597 in both scenarios. [back]
7. A concealed household is a household that would like a home of its own but is currently sharing with another household. [back]
8. 660 x 20 = 13,200. If included in the OAN new care home bedspaces can be counted as part of the monitoring.]. [back]
9. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-right-homes-in-the-right-places-consultation-proposals [back]

Where will the Additional New Housing Growth be Located?

5.17 Influencing the location of future growth can help to achieve a more sustainable pattern of development. Typically this means focussing growth on larger settlements, which already have a range of jobs and services, but it is also important to provide opportunities for people in more rural areas.

5.18 The LPR needs to determine where the additional housing, employment and retail growth required to meet the needs of the District up until 2034 is located.

5.19 As explained, the current focus of growth is Yeovil, followed by the Market Towns, and then a higher proportion of growth is directed towards the Rural Settlements rather than the Rural Centres [10].

5.20 It is important that the distribution of the additional growth going forward is carefully considered and is focussed where it can be delivered. This is particularly important given that a number of the 14 settlements – where a target figure is specified – have not delivered their annualised housing target thus far into the Plan period [11].

5.21 The LPR provides an opportunity to consider whether the Council wishes to pursue the existing spatial distribution of growth or to consider another option. Viability is a key element to the delivery of any strategy. Approaches could include a more dispersed pattern of growth with allocations focussed towards Market Towns and Rural Centres or potentially the introduction of a ‘Villages’ category of settlement which sits between the Rural Centres and the Rural Settlements.

10. Local Plan Policies SS1 (Settlement Strategy) and SS5 (Delivering New Housing Growth) [back]
11. South Somerset Authority Monitoring Report, September 2017 [back]

Rural Settlements

5.22 The existing Local Plan (Policy SS2) seeks to strictly control and limit development in and around Rural Centres to that which provides employment opportunities, creates or enhances community facilities, and/or meets identified housing need. It says development should be commensurate with the scale and character of the settlement, be consistent with community-led plans, and generally have the support of the local community following robust engagement and consultation.

5.23 We cannot ignore that development in Rural Settlements has contributed to a vital part of housing delivery in South Somerset and more housing has been delivered in the first 11 years of the Local Plan period in these locations than the settlement strategy envisaged. Larger Rural Settlements appear to be the focus for most development but there are also significant commitments in other smaller locations. It will be important to continue to monitor the situation as without some control there may be a risk of over-development. Given the current lack of a five-year housing land supply, it may be considered that the benefits of housing delivery in these locations outweigh the existing strategic approach to housing delivery and mean that an alternative spatial strategy needs to be considered.

5.24 One way in which Policy SS2 could be amended to ensure that development is focussed on the most sustainable of the Rural Settlements may be by amending the list of services set out in paragraph 5.41 of the adopted Local Plan [12]. Currently, settlements are expected to have at least two of the listed facilities in order to qualify as an SS2 settlement. The list includes: local convenience shop; post office; pub; children’s play area/sports pitch; village hall/community centre; health centre; faith facility; and primary school. One option could be to include the requirement for a settlement to have three of the facilities currently listed rather than two. Another option could be to combine existing facilities, thereby reducing the “list”; for example the faith facility could be combined with the village hall/community centre, as these all provide community meeting places, and the post office could be combined with the convenience shop, as these are often co-located in the same premises.

5.25 Paragraph 5.44 of the Local Plan requires applicants to fully explain how their housing proposals meet the housing need in a Rural Settlement. It is generally expected that affordable housing is included as part of a housing scheme and some cases may be predominant especially where the application has been justified using the results of a local housing needs survey. It is important that the policy does not inhibit the provision of affordable housing in Rural Settlements by raising hope value [13] for the provision of market housing.

5.26 The level of affordable housing in Rural Settlements has also been affected by the voluntary disposal of Housing Association stock where it is not subject to a Section 106 Agreement.

5.27 An initial assessment of existing Rural Settlements shows that there are a number of settlements that currently have a good range of local services, some employment opportunities, and sites that could accommodate additional growth. These include settlements like Keinton Mandeville, Curry Rivel and Merriott, where developments of between thirty and fifty dwellings have previously been approved.

5.28 Given the role of smaller settlements in delivering housing growth in South Somerset, an option could be to add an additional settlement category ‘Villages’ to Policy SS1 (Settlement Strategy). These would be settlements with a level of services, self-containment and development opportunities that could justify a specific level of growth and/or small scale allocations.

5.29 Additional evidence base work would need to be undertaken to identify the settlements that would be suitable for inclusion in this category should it be introduced.

12. Services are: local convenience shop; post office; pub; children’s play area/sports pitch; village hall/community centre; health centre; faith facility; and primary school [back]
13. This could mean that the ability to provide affordable housing on site could be more difficult as the land price will be more. [back]

New Garden Towns and Villages

5.30 In 2016, the Government sought expressions of interest from Councils towards funding for new gardens towns and villages. These are not intended as urban extensions but free standing new settlements. A ‘garden town’ is a development of more than 10,000 homes. ‘Garden villages’ are smaller settlements of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes [14].  Whilst the window for the original expressions of interest has closed there may be a further opportunity in the near future. Many garden towns, Taunton’s for instance, are located adjacent to existing towns and encompass existing allocated areas.

5.31 If South Somerset District Council were to allocate a Garden Village, this would be part of a longer term strategy. Significant additional work would have to be undertaken to consider where the most sustainable location for such a settlement would be; for example, which part of the District it should be in and whether it should it be located close to the A303, particularly in light of the proposed improvements.

14. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/first-ever-garden-villages-named-with-government-support [back]

Options for the Distribution of Housing Growth

5.32 Based on the issues discussed above there are a number of options available to the Council as to how housing growth is distributed going forward, including carrying on with the same distribution strategy it has currently.

Question 5.2

Which of the following options for the distribution of housing growth do you think should be taken forward through the LPR?

Option 5.2

5.2(a)  Continue with the existing Local Plan spatial distribution of growth: Yeovil 47%, Market Towns 32%, Rural Centres 7% and Rural Settlements 14%.

5.2(b)  Have a more dispersed strategy based upon where the market is delivering.

5.2(c)  Introduce an additional tier of ‘Village’ settlements where development could be allocated. Which settlements should be identified and why?

5.2(d)  Allocate a Garden Town or Village. Where should it be located and how many homes should it accommodate?

5.2 (e)  Another option (please specify)

Question 5.3

Should the supporting text to Policy SS2 (Rural Settlements) be amended to ensure growth is focussed towards the more sustainable Rural Settlements?

Option 5.3

5.3(a)  Amend the supporting text of Policy SS2 to require a Rural Settlement to have three of the services listed in Local Plan paragraph 5.41 in order for the Policy to apply.

5.3(b)  Amend the list of services in Local Plan paragraph 5.41 by combining the faith facility with village hall/community centre and the post office with the convenience shop and continue the requirement two facilities.

5.3(c)  An alternative option?

 

 

Future Employment Growth

5.33 As with housing delivery, monitoring indicates that employment land is not being delivered at the rate required to meet the Local Plan target of 149.5 hectares by 2026. Fifty-four hectares of net additional land has been delivered since 2006, which represents only 36% of the target [15].

5.34 At a settlement level, Figure 5.5 sets out the amount of employment land and floorspace that has been completed from 2006 to 2017 [16].

Figure 5.5: New Employment Land and Floorspace (net) “Completions” only (2006 -2017)

Settlement

Local Plan Employment Land Requirement

Total Employment Land Completions (net figures)

Additional Floorspace Completed (net figures)

Yeovil

50.00

2.85

25,037

Chard

17.14

-0.19

24,432

Crewkerne

10.10

1.31

3,513

Ilminster

23.05

4.03

15,647

Wincanton

7.94

1.40

11,400

Somerton

6.63

8.91

16,313

Ansford & Castle Cary

18.97

8.91

16,313

Langport & Huish Episcopi

4.01

0.04

1,325

Bruton

3.06

0.21

2,933

Ilchester

1.02

-0.02

1,160

Martock & Bower Hinton

3.19

0

-278

Milborne Port

0.84

-3.79

-7,709

South Petherton

2.47

2.95

10,346

Stoke Sub Hamdon

1.09

-0.01

222

Rest of the District

n/a

35.24

96,679

Total

149.51

54.10

210,684

5.35 The current Local Plan strategy seeks to deliver employment land in the main settlements because they are perceived to be more sustainable. Major employment development is directed towards large scale, strategic employment sites in Yeovil, Chard, Ilminster, and Crewkerne, either through saved Local Plan policies or Policy EP1 (Strategic Employment Sites). Policy SS3 (Delivering New Employment Land) identifies the additional levels of new employment land required in other named settlements around the District.

5.36 The vast majority of land and floorspace has been delivered in locations substantially different to the policy aims of the current Local Plan. Whilst the Local Plan has sought to deliver employment land in the main settlements, the locations outside of these settlements, identified as the “Rest of the District” is where the delivery has occurred. Thirty-five hectares or 65% of the land that has been delivered is in the Rest of the District, away from allocated sites.

5.37 It is clear from land and floorspace delivery rates that the relationship between net additional land and net additional floorspace is not directly proportional. At a settlement-level, there are places experiencing little net gain in land, but relatively high levels of net additional floorspace. This indicates that expansion of existing premises, changes of use within existing buildings, and the intensification of use on existing sites are playing an important role in driving economic activity and job creation, as much, if not more so, than delivering new land for economic development. The link between jobs, land, and floorspace is also complex and not easily traced, as was intended in the current Local Plan.

5.38 Commentary relating to economic development delivery in specific settlements is provided in the relevant sections.

5.39 Economic forecasts [17] suggest that over the Plan period, there will be 8,500 net additional jobs in South Somerset to 2034. This is a lower rate than that envisaged in the current Local Plan (Policy SS3 stated that 11,250 jobs would be supported between 2006 and 2028) and can be explained by changes in the economic outlook of the UK following Brexit and a constrained labour market (low unemployment rates and an increase in the number of economically active retirees).

5.40 This additional job creation will be spread across a wide range of sectors, or for planning purposes, use classes and none (meaning homeworkers or people such as construction workers who require no fixed place of employment). A substantial number of jobs will be created in town centre activities, health, and education and leisure activities. There is a mixed picture in the traditional manufacturing sector.

5.41 Jobs growth by sector/use class is forecast as below (all figures are approximates):

  • 2000 jobs in the A Use Classes (Shops and other main town centre activities such as cafes and restaurants);
  • 1,000 in the B Use Classes (this includes growth in B1 offices, modest growth in B8 storage and distribution and a substantial loss of B2 general industrial);
  • 1,700 in the C Use Class; (including hotels, hospitals and nursing homes and residential training centres);
  • 1,400 in the D Use Classes; (includes health, education and leisure activities);
  • 500 in the Sui Generis class (uses which do not fall into a class such as nightclubs or casinos); and
  • 1,900 in non-site-based activities, such as construction workers or home-workers.

5.42 A large proportion of these new jobs will not require any direct provision of sites or premises as they will use existing ones; others will be supported through specific infrastructure projects or town centre schemes. Within the B Use Classes however, land will be required for the anticipated growth in office space, although modest amounts, as South Somerset is not an office based economy. Also, despite the forecast decline in the general industrial sector, there will be some additional requirement, plus the need to replace existing aged stock, which there are large amounts of. This would equate to: 3-8 hectares of land for office development (B1 uses), and 42-85 hectares of land for industrial development (B2 & B8 uses). Additional evidence base work will be required to establish exact requirements between these two ranges.

5.43 The current Local Plan is seeking 149.51 hectares of employment land to 2028, of which only 54.1 ha has been completed, with 17.04 ha under construction (a total of 71.14 ha), leaving an outstanding requirement of 78.36 ha. These latest estimates of job growth therefore appear to require less land than the current Local Plan anticipates.

5.44 As Figure 5.5 demonstrates, much of the employment land and floorspace that has been completed is not on strategically designated sites, nor in the other locations set out in Policy SS3. This raises two principal issues:

  • It may be appropriate to re-assess the overall scale of employment land set out in Policy SS3.
  • It is possible that the District Council needs to reconsider its approach in focussing its economic development strategy on the five large towns. It is questionable whether the allocated sites will bring forward the previously expected employment activities; therefore is it necessary to implement a policy that recognises opportunities across the rest of the District. For example by deallocating employment sites and enabling the expansion of established employment locations in the “Rest of the District” or identifying new locations in accessible locations such as along the A303 transport corridor.

Question 5.4

Are there any other appropriate locations where new employment development could be directed and if so, where, how much and of what type?

Question 5.5

Should the District Council reduce the amount of employment land required to be delivered within the Local Plan period and if so how much of the currently allocated land should be removed and from what locations?

15. Economic Development Monitoring Report April 2017 [back]
16. South Somerset’s Employment Monitoring Database, completions 1.04.06 to 31.03.17 [back]
17. South Somerset Employment Land Evidence: Long term Economic Forecasting and Implications for Employment Sites and premises (May 2017) [back]

Employment Issues – Monitoring

5.45 The current focus of monitoring the success of the economic/employment policies in the Local Plan is to analyse the amount of additional employment land and new jobs generated over the Plan period on a settlement by settlement basis.

5.46 There are inherent problems in analysing the economy in this way. Looking at the amount of land that has been developed, one might consider that the Local Plan is failing to support businesses, but considering Figure 5.6[18] below which summarises the change in Gross Value Added (which is a local measure of the productivity of an economy) in South Somerset between 2001 and 2015, a different picture emerges.

Figure 5.6: Gross Value Added in South Somerset between 2001 and 2015

Year

GVA (£m, 2011 prices)

2001

2,391.72

2006

2,933.72

2009

2,871.41

2015

3,134.57

% Change 2001 to 2015

31.06

5.47 What the table shows is that productivity has, on the whole, risen (although there have been variations between sectors) and that the economy of South Somerset is clearly growing. This is reflective of economic development efforts to improve productivity levels in the economy at a regional level (through the Local Economic Partnership – Heart of the South West) and county and district level.

5.48 A strong and prosperous economy depends on more than the amount of land or floorspace delivered. It is one where a major proportion of the local population is economically active, unemployment is low, workers and business are raising their productivity, employees are more highly skilled, and the overall number of jobs and businesses is increasing in the area. Local authorities are however required to plan proactively to meet the development needs of business and the success of the Local Plan needs to be measured.

5.49 The Local Plan has always focused on monitoring the delivery of land in “traditional” employment uses – Use Classes B1 (Business), B2 (General Industrial), and B8 (Storage and Distribution). Other employment land generating uses have, in the past, been considered by analysing town centre development and planned infrastructure investment (for example the delivery of new schools). There has therefore been little consolidated analysis of the full range of economic development uses that require land in South Somerset. The most recent analysis of data [19]  has sought to resolve this by considering a much wider range of economic development activities (outside the “traditional” employment uses) and includes for example, food and drink establishments, hotels, and sui generis uses.

5.50 Efforts to capture jobs growth at a settlement level have been mixed; jobs are measured through a number of different, non-comparable and often volatile datasets, which are frequently not available at a settlement level. The link between the delivery of land and job creation is also not proportional.

5.51 In monitoring the effectiveness of Policy SS3, there is an issue over whether measuring performance of the Local Plan in promoting economic growth via analysing the amount of net additional land developed is the correct approach. Consideration could be given to a package of monitoring measures which provide a more rounded and more comprehensive assessment of how South Somerset’s economy is performing.

5.52 Given the inherent difficulties in monitoring annual jobs growth at a settlement level, and the level of accuracy regarding jobs provision in current Policy SS3 (that cannot be delivered), consideration should also be given to monitoring jobs growth at a District-wide level. The purpose of the Local Plan is to support economic growth and measuring overall growth at a District-wide level would allow this aim to be monitored sufficiently.

Question 5.6

What would be the most appropriate and quantifiable criteria or combination of criteria that should be monitored to measure performance of the Local Plan in promoting economic growth?

Question 5.7

Should the Local Plan remove the jobs growth figures by settlement in Policy SS3 and provide a District-wide figure to be monitored instead?

18. Oxford Economics (from Heart of the South West LEP) [back]
19. Economic Development Monitoring Report April 2017 [back]

Infrastructure Delivery

5.53 Local Plan Policy SS6 (Infrastructure Delivery) outlines the Council’s approach to infrastructure delivery.

5.54 The Infrastructure Delivery Plan Update 2015/16 (IDP) identifies the infrastructure requirements to support the growth in the Local Plan. It is a ‘living’ document and will be subject to further updates [20].

5.55 The Council has adopted a Community Infrastructure Levy and this came into effect on 1 April 2017 [21]. Planning applications are liable to pay CIL for:

  • The creation of new dwellings. With the exception of sites within the large urban extensions proposed in Yeovil and Chard.
  • Applications for large out of town retail development (use class A1).

5.56 Additional infrastructure is likely to be needed to support the extra growth identified in the LPR; this could include and is not exclusively limited to: new highway infrastructure, education provision, health provision or improved open space, sports facilities and play areas.

 

Question 5.8

What additional infrastructure would be required to support the provision of the additional new homes and economic development?

 

20. https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-policy/early-review-of-local-plan-2006-2028/evidence-base/ Page includes links to the IDP parts 1 and 2 as well as the Appendices. [back]
21. CIL information and forms: https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-permission/community-infrastructure-levy-(cil)/ [back]

Phasing of Development and Previously Developed Land

5.57 Local Plan Policy SS7 (Phasing of Previously Developed Land) encourages 40% of new housing development to be on Previously Developed Land (PDL) and notes that a five-year supply of housing land needs to pertain.

5.58 Policy HG2 (The Use of Previously Developed Land for New Housing Development) also states that the Council’s intention is to seek to provide 40% of new dwellings on previously developed land (PDL) over the Plan period.

5.59 PDL is defined in the NPPF  [22] and is often referred to as ‘brownfield’ land. Paragraph 47 requires LPAs to have a five-year supply of housing land and paragraph 111 expects planning policies to “…encourage...” the use of PDL and suggests LPAs may consider setting a local target.

5.60 In April 2017, legislation [23] came into force requiring LPAs to put in place Brownfield Land Registers (BLR). This has to be done by 31 December 2017.

5.61 The Register is in two parts and inclusion of a site within Part 2 of the BLR means that the site is given Permission in Principle (PiP) [24].

5.62 The Government has introduced the BLR and PiP to try and speed up housing delivery on brownfield land. This also builds upon the approach taken in the NPPF which encourages the effective use of brownfield land [25].  The issue is discussed in the Housing White Paper.[26]

5.63 The AMR shows that Policy SS7 has been used on only limited occasions [27] [6]. Local Plan policies are not expected to repeat national guidance and the LPR presents the opportunity to consider if Policies SS7 and HG2 can be rationalised into one.

Question 5.9

Which of the following options do you think would best address previously developed land?

Option 5.9

5.9(a)   Retain both Policy SS7 and Policy HG2 with no changes.

5.9(b)  Combine Policies SS7 and HG2 into one, but do not include the reference to the need to have a five-year housing land supply.

5.9(c)   Another option (please specify).

 

22. NPPF, 2012, Annex 2: Glossary [back]
23. The Town and Country Planning (Brownfield Land Register) Regulations 2017 [back]
24. The Town and Country Planning (Permission in Principle) Order 2017 [back]
25. NPPF, 2012 (paragraph 111) [back]
26. Fixing our broken housing market, February 2017 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/590464/Fixing_our_broken_housing_market_-_print_ready_version.pdf [back]
27. South Somerset Authority Monitoring Report, September 2017 [back]